First, can everybody please shut CNN offé just ‘cause that little slogan every five minutes says the most trusted name in news doesn’t mean its true.
Second, I love how the North American public sincerely seems to believe that America is engaging in this brutal atrocity of killing Iraqis as being justified to oust Saddam. America has a tendency to avoid announcing that they are having a war with a nation rather it’s always to capture some supposed evil guy. First, it was all about capturing Osama the alleged mastermind behind September 11. Of course this supposed link justified bombing the hell out of Afghanistan and they still haven’t been able to find him. Now it’s about a regime change in Iraq cause Saddam is such an awful man.
Third, most of the west is gravely misinformed. The obvious argument always suggested has been Saddam is a bad man that invaded Kuwait and has used chemical weapons on his people. This is what we have been hearing in the media for years now. However, there is another side to the tale. It’s difficult to get into the complete history of Iraq but I will try my best to summarize it.
After the Iranian public overthrew the American (CIA) installed Shah in Iran back in 1979 the American’s devised another ploy to continue to maintain there strong hold in the Middle East. As a result during the eight year war between Iran and Iraq the Americans continued to pump Saddam with money and weapons of all kinds including information on creating chemical weapons.
It was during this time that the notorious Al-Sabah family who disliked the new Iranian government decided to give Iraq $17 billion dollars. The Al-Sabah family also started to slant drill (with the help of US companies) in the Rumailah oil fields which are in Iraq. The Al-Sabah family then sold the oil at rock bottom prices to Japan and the US. At the end of it all the Al-Sabah family was worth 90 billion dollars and held about 50 billion dollars in US companies.
After the Iran Iraq war Saddam was 60 billion in the hole and the Al-Sabah family continued to slant drill and profit tremendously by selling there oil to the US. Saddam went to OPEC and demanded that the slant drilling cease. OPEC didn’t give a damn and by now the Al-Sabah family was telling Iraq that the $17 billion originally given to Iraq was not a gift but a loan and had to be repaid.
Saddam was obviously angry and started to think about using his army to solve the dilemma. Incidentally, he threatened to do this a year before he invaded Kuwait on August 2nd at OPEC and the Arab league meeting with Robert Dole and other US senators present.
When Saddam finally amassed his army along the border on July 30th, Sheikh Sabeh Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah basically said screw off if you try anything we’ll get the biggest bully on the block the US to deal with you.
A few days later Saddam invaded Kuwait. It was there that George Bush senior ended up inventing a war. While attempting to gain support for his war Bush’s senior national security advisor suggested that more than a quarter of a million Iraqi troops had massed at the Saudi border ready to kill. The Bush administration used commercial satellite pictures as evidence. Years later Jean Heller a respected journalist in Florida for the St Petersburg managed to persuade her employer into purchasing some of these pictures. Interestingly, there was no evidence of any troops massed at the border on tanks. In addition, Heller stated that the pictures were so clear that she was able to see the wingtips of American planes parked at Prince Riyadh air base. A year later Colin Powell admitted to getting the numbers wrong.
Furthermore, the Bush administration employed a public relations firm (Hill & Knowlton’s http://www.hillandknowlton.com/)in Kuwait and paid them 2 million dollars to make up that cockamamie story about Iraqi solders killing babies in Kuwait. By the time it was revealed that the story was a hoax the war was over.
History has managed to repeat itself. Bush junior has managed to follow in the foot steps of his father by also inventing a war. Bush continues to emphasize how evil Saddam is by making reference to the fact that he has gassed his own people. Once again the media has managed to leave out some crucial information pertaining to this event.
A recent article in the New York Times by a former CIA official Stephen C. Pelletiere entitled “A War Crime or an Act of War?” describes some of the events that led up to the gassing. In addition, a recent article entitled “Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy” (http://220.127.116.11/stanmoore1.html) featured on alternative media website www.mediamonitors.net also lends insight to the theory that the whole Iraq gassing situation has been inaccurately reported. Finally, an article by Don Sellar a Toronto Star ombudsman was featured on the website Common Dreams also discussing the event at the events at Halabja.
The incident that so many refer to involved the Iraqi Kurds in the town of Halabja in March 1988 which was nearing the end of Iraq/Iran war. Pelletiere states that since he was the CIA’s senior political analyst on the Iran/Iraq war that he was “privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf.”
The gassing did take place however reports are unclear as to who was gassed and who did it. Pelletiere suggests that Iraq gassed some Iranian rebels who were trying to take over the town and in the midst of it Iraqi Kurds got caught as well. Another possible theory suggested has been that right after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency produced a classified report suggesting that the gas that killed the civilians was actually produced by the Iranians.
“The condition of the dead Kurds’ bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent – that is, a cyanide-based gas – which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time.”
Pelletiere like myself goes on to suggest that he is not defending Hussain but that the facts must be made known to the public.
Now I ask you. Why is that we continue to give George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt and not Saddam Hussain. Sure Saddam is probably not the nicest guy in the world but when has it been justified to use force to oust the leader of a sovereign nation. The U.S continues to draw reference to Saddam’s past. But, what about George W. Bush. Bush and his family have been involved in some of the biggest conspiracies and atrocities of the last century. A former cocaine head and alcoholic frat boy at Yale has managed to land the most highly coveted position in American. Prior, to that he managed to drive numerous oil companies into the ground. It was announced recently that the Bush administration has already awarded the first oil contract in Iraq to the Halliburton oil company. Interestingly, enough Halliburton’s CEO was none other than Dick Cheney. I find it hard to believe that this possess no conflict of interest.
As students we must be overtly critical of what we see, hear and read. We must remember that the one side of a story might necessarily be the only side. I am not suggesting that all the facts and statements in this article are an authoritative guide about the situation. All I am asking is to always question what is happening in the world.
Rehan Khalil is a second year law student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Canada.